Who's Who - Elwyn King

Elwyn King Captain Elwyn Roy "Bo" King (1894-1941) achieved 26 aerial victories as an Australian fighter pilot during World War One.

King, who was born on 13 May 1894 in Bathurst, New South Wales, joined the AIF initially as a trooper in the 12th Light Horse in July 1915.  He was subsequently posted to Egypt and served in Cairo and the Sinai Peninsula.

Towards the close of 1916 King requested a transfer to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) as a mechanic.  He underwent training in England in January 1917, passing through the aeronautical school at Oxford en route to becoming a fully-fledged pilot.

Having passed his examination at Oxford he travelled next to Hampshire for preliminary flight instruction.  He was posted first to Shrewsbury and then to Market Drayton aerodrome where he attended gunnery school prior to fighting school in Ayr.  He passed out of Ayr as an assistant instructor.

Having thus finally attained his commission in October 1917, King joined No. 4 Squadron of the Australian Flying Corps the following March.  He scored some 22 of his 26 victories in the final seven months of the war alone.  Seven of these were achieved while flying the Sopwith Snipe, making him the highest scoring pilot to use the aircraft.

Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in September 1918 and mentioned in despatches, King received his discharge from the AFC in late 1919 and embarked upon a career in commercial aviation, flying aircraft along Australia's east coast delivering letters and packages.

When war was renewed in 1939 King signed up once again, joining the RAAF as a Squadron Leader, subsequently receiving a promotion to Group Captain.  He worked at a series of training bases until his sudden death on 28 November 1941 in Point Cook, Australia.

A 'Gearsman' was a tank crew member responsible for managing the gears.

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